Time to plant potatoes

Specialty potatoes

This year’s seed potatoes arrived in the mail this morning! I have to pick up some bales of straw and then planting can begin.

Last year’s garden gave an underwhelming performance. Drought delayed the tomatoes, cucumber beetles attacked the squash, and groundhogs eliminated all the peas, beans and greens. The only crops that afforded much pride were the herbs, particularly sweet basil, which thrived in the endless sun, and potatoes.

You work with your successes. This year I will plant more potatoes.

These specialty, mostly heirloom varieties came from Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes in Alberta. Clockwise from top left, they are warba (a delicious, early selection I grew last year), banana (fingerling), pink fir apple (fingerling), all red (late), purple viking (mid) and russet burbank (late). The order included 1 kg each of warba and russet burbank, four tubers each of the rest.

I still have several of last year’s bintje potatoes sprouting like crazy on the basement landing. I’ll plant them, too.

Potatoes are an ideal crop for starting new permaculture beds. Last year I created raised beds, placed potatoes on top and covered them with straw. This year I will follow an even simpler strategy: covering the sod with newspaper, placing seed potatoes on top, covering them with straw and fertilizing with bonemeal.

4 thoughts on “Time to plant potatoes

  1. You only place the potatoes on top, without burying, only covering with straw or newsprint? Interesting. And they will grow like this?

    My funds are earmarked for necessities at this time, so I don’t know how much I will spend on plants and seedlings. I am thinking of just planting a cover crop like alfalfa and letting the soil rest in the veg patch. I have to stay away from plant sales… they’re not much better than crack houses, as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

    1. I hear ya! Yes, I got great potatoes this way last year, just placing them on bare earth and covering with straw. I added more straw as they grew. To harvest them you just pull the straw away.

  2. I hope you have as much luck with the spuds as I had last season. I have a couple of kilos tucked away for the winter even after giving away half the crop.

    I’m struggling to motivate myself to work in the garden now though, having decided I’ll be leaving in the spring. Still, I have seedlings to care for and hardy brassicas to harvest. Best pull myself together and get out there.

    I look forward to reading about spring and summer in your garden as we pass through the colder, darker months.


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